Back in 2005, the Highland Park High School in Texas had quite the impressive combo. One was the star QB and Catcher, the other was the star Pitcher and Center. Finally, some 16 years later, thanks to the Detroit Lions and LA Rams these two massive talents share a city again.
That’s right, Matt Stafford and Clayton Kershaw were not only star athletes at the same high school, but best of friends. After the Lions dealt Stafford to the Rams on Saturday night, he and Kershaw were reunited again in the City of Angels.
The Lions finally pulled the trigger on their future sending Stafford to the Rams for a haul of a 3rd round pick in the upcoming draft, a first-round pick in next year’s draft and another first rounder in the following season. Oh, did I forget to mention they also got QB Jared Goff in the deal. As far as trading away Hall of Fame talent, the Lions made out quite well.
Going into the 2021 season, the Lions now have at the very least, a place holder in Goff, and at most, they have their new franchise QB. Remember, Goff led the Rams to the Super Bowl just 2 years ago. If it turns out the Goff is not the guy, the Lions need to lead them in the future, they have the draft capital and cap room to make sure they find the guy who is.
This is not a Lions team totally bereft of skill position talent. With Kenny Golloday, Marvin Jones, Deandre Swift and TJ Hockenson, the Lions have a future that could look brighter than it has done since Barry Sanders was dancing in the backfield.
Meanwhile, the Rams had to make a move this off-season. Goff and Head Coach Sean McVay seemed to be on different pages, and after a pathetic display of offense in the NFC Divisional game against the Packers, a change had to be made. The Rams could not afford to waste any more time with the stacked defense they had and adding Stafford will make them the favorites to at least win the NFC West next season, if not more.
Not only will wideouts like Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods and Josh Reynolds all see a spike in production, but 2nd year runner Cam Akers will now be a lot more dangerous in the backfield. Add that to a defense that features Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey, and this may be the best Rams team we’ve seen since the Greatest Show on Turf.
The Rams will have to hit it out the park in the later rounds of the draft however, as they are now during a run that will see them go 7 years without a first-round pick. That is an anomaly in this day and age of the NFL. Especially with a salary cap that will loom large if they are unable to find any bargains.
Having a happy Matt Stafford of course, will help this Rams team a lot. Reuniting him in the same city with his best friend Clayton Kershaw will only add to his sunny disposition.
But it is not only the Rams and Lions who are benefitting from this trade. Right about now, somewhere in the middle of Houston the Texans GM has a smile on his face that cannot be wiped away. After all, seeing the haul the Lions got for Stafford, the price of Deshaun Watson just went up, and the 49ers may be the team forced to pay that king’s ransom.